1919] PBESIDENTIAL ADDBifiSS
either tricks of the nature of conjuring tricks,, or else happenings of a kind very remote from ordinary experience.
A -discouraging feature was that attempts to improve the conditions usually led to nothing. As an example, I may mention that after writing, supposed to be spirit writing, had appeared, I arranged pencils and paper inside a large glass retort, of which the neck was then hermetically sealed. For safety this was placed in a wooden box, and stood under the table during several stances. The intention was to give opportunity for evidence that would be independent of close watching during the semi-darkness. It is perhaps unnecessary to say that though scribbling appeared on the box, there was nothing inside the retort. Possibly this was too much to expect. I may add that on recently inspecting the retorb I find that the opportunity has remained neglected for forty-five years.
During all this time I have been in doubt what interpretation to put upon these experiences. In my judgment the incidents were not good enough, or under good enough conditions, to establish occult influences; but yet I have always felt difficulty in accepting the only alternative explanation. Some circumstances, if of secondary importance, are also worthy of mention. Unlike some other mediums that I have known, Mrs Jencken never tried to divert one's attention, nor did she herse